Marin County officials will suspend indoor dining for at least three weeks amid an influx in new coronavirus infections, reversing course one week after giving restaurants the green light to serve customers inside.
The decision, effective at midnight Monday, comes days after the state added Marin County to its watch list, which closely tracks counties struggling to clamp down on a surge in cases and hospitalizations. The county’s decision was based on a lack of improvement in case counts, officials said in a release Sunday.
Marin had 2,861 total coronavirus cases and 21 deaths as of Sunday afternoon. That includes cases at San Quentin State Prison, which is in the county and accounts for at least half of Marin’s infections. The latest state figures show 1,388 inmate infections and 165 staff infections.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed counties on the watch list to reimpose parts of their stay-at-home orders.
Restaurants in Marin County may continue outdoor seating and take-out service, officials said.
At the Gravity Tavern in Mill Valley, customers were enjoying beer and pub food inside and at outside tables after the restaurant fully reopened on Thursday, said manager Sierra Truppelli.
It’s frustrating, but these are “crazy times,” she said.
Thankfully, given the warm weather, most people want to sit outside anyway, she said, adding she only hopes the county doesn’t backtrack even more to takeout only again.
“We are blessed that this awful situation is happening in beautiful weather,” Truppelli said. “That’s what we’re trying to do is look for the silver lining.”
Teams with the state health department will patrol restaurants and other businesses that are not complying with COVID-19 measures.
“Wearing facial coverings in public, washing hands often, adhering to social bubble guidelines, and practicing social distancing are among practices that will help curtail the coronavirus outbreak and lead to more openings in economic sectors,” Marin officials said.
San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Jill Tucker contributed to this report.